Whether you are purchasing your first house, a forever home or downsizing; we have all you need to know to get ready for this major life event! 

With over 80 years of expereicne in New Jersey real estate, Gilsenan & Company can help you prepare for your home purchase. Below are some helpful tips for starting your home search and making it from offer to closing. Feel free to contact us for more information and to get started.

Things to Consider when starting your home search: 
  • What are your personal reasons: growing family, want to move closer to work or school
If you are new to the area, check out our communties pages for more information on local towns. Here you can find demographic infromation, school reports and local home listings. 
  • What is your home budget?
Purchasing a home is a huge financial decision, so it is important to consider not only the listing sales price but also the montlhy mortgage payment and property taxes. Depending on the size of the property and location you may be able to afford more than you realize. It is important to take into consideration all the financial obligations of buying a home including closings costs. 
  • Timing
If area real estate is moving fast and you feel pressured to buy, this may not be the time. If you want to sell your current home and buy another, consider whether you can manage a dual sale/purchase. If you find a neighborhood you like but aren't ready to commit, consider renting there for six months to learn more about it.

Get Organized

It pays to get organized. Put your finances in order, get pre-approved for a loan, and you'll know what you can afford to buy.

  • Credit data: Check your credit and correct any credit problems you may have before the lender gets your credit report.
  • Loan documents: Gather financial information the lender will request: Copy of the purchase contract, last two tax returns, pay stubs for the last 30 days, etc.
  • Get Pre-Approved: Gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow and puts you in a better position to buy
The Home Buying Process

The more time you can give yourself to complete the home buying process. Depending on the local market, home purchasing can get competetive so the more homes you see the better equipped you will be to make a successful purchase offer when you find the right home. 

90 Days or More Before Desired Closing 

Let us help you get set up with daily or weekly emails of homes that aer new to the market. We can keep you up to date with new listings, price changes and exclusive listings. Starting early allows you to get a better understanding of the local market, exactly what home features are most important to you, what you can afford and what communties are the best fit for you. We aren't here to sell you a specific home, we are  here to help you find your perfect home. 

Offer to Purchase 

When you make the decision to put in an offer on a property for sale, we can help you determine what offer is the best one for you. Our agents have deep understandings of the market, and fair market value. We can provide you with comparative market analyses which will help you compare recent sales to the property on which you are thinking of making an offer. Determining the best offer price shouldn't be a blind decision, and we can help provide you with the knowledge and data to support you the purchase price you are thinking of offering at. 

All offers are submitted in the form of a standard sales contract your real estate agent will draft for you. We utilize secure e-signing technology for you to quickly and efficiently sign documents remotely. The standard sales contract provides for a financing contingency and inspection contingency; meaning the sale of the property will be contingent on your ability to obtain a mortgage and will give you an opportunity for us to assit you in performing the necessary home inspections.

Some important things to think about when making an offer to purchase is the down payment, potential PMI costs if you are putting less than 20% down, estimated closing date and whether your offer will be contingent on the sale of other property, such as your current home. These are all things that you can discuss with your realtor even before you are ready to make an offer. 

Your Offer has been Accepted 

Congratulations, if your offer was accepted you then enter what New Jersey calls the "Attorney Review" period. By statute this period lasts for three days, unless the parties agree otherwise, and during this period the buyer or seller can get out of the contract without any consequences and for any reason. Typically, this means that a seller can accept another offer in this period of time with no obligation to you as the prospective buyer. The period of time from when an offer is accept until closing can be as quickly as 30 days, but is typically between 60-75 days depending on various other factors of course. 

If the market is especially competitive we can help you move as quickly as possible by helping to set up the various home inspections you will need to protect your purchase and investment, as well as working with your lender to set up the appraisal of the home. Being organized and efficient helps keep the seller's at ease knowing the sale will proceed smoothly. 

Under Contract 

Being "under contract" means that unless one of the contingenies is not met, you are on track to purchase your home. It is during this time period that home inspections are performed, title work is completed and your lender works with you to obtain financing. Home inspections are vital to any property purchase as you will want to uncover any serious problems with the proprety as well as have an opportuntiy to reach an agreement with the seller to make any needed repairs or to provide you with a credit at closing. 

Typical home inspections include, the standard home inspection, an invasive pest inpsection, septic inspections (if not on municpal plumbing), radon tests, and an oil tank sweep (if necessary). Gilsenan & Company has worked with many professionals in these areas over there years and we are happy to recommend and help coordinate these inspections to move the inspection process along smoothly. Occassionally the standard home inspection will uncover an issue that needs to be inspected by a specialized professional. We can help make sure you have all the information about the property before the closing. 

Simultaneously title work will be conducted to ensure that there are no outstanding liens or other ownership interests on the property that would encumber your ownership of the property. The sale of the property is contingent on a clear title being transferred from the seller to you as the buyer. This assurance is necessary to obtain prior to any closing. 

While under contract you will also be working with your lender to obtain your mortgage commitment and the financing package that will allow you to purchase your home. During this period of time your lender will require an appraisal of the property to be conducted to ensure that the purchase price meets fair market value. You will also have to work closely with your lender to make sure they have all the documents necessary to issue the loan. 


Closing Day has arrived! The closing of your property will take place at one of the attorney's offices or at Gilsenan & Company. It is on this date that your lender provides the funds to close on your home, and you proivde the remainder of the downpayment. Three days before the closing your attorney, lender and title insurance company will work closely together to finalize the HUD statement which lists all the mortgages being satisifed by the sale of the property and your new mortgage on the property. It will also provide you with the amount of funds necessary to close, which includes the remainder of your down payment and closings costs. 


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**The information contained on this page is for estimation purposes only. Payment amounts must be obtained from your mortgage lender. Peach Realestate has no liability for the accuracy of the information contained on this page.